Darren Till earned the biggest win of his career on Sunday in his hometown of Liverpool but not without a mountain of controversy when the fight was over.
Till earned a unanimous decision victory against former two-time title contender Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson in a fight largely dominated by positional striking without much damage being done by either fighter.
It was a tactical battle throughout with Thompson using his range and reach to keep Till at a distance as he used a series of straight punches and side kicks as his offensive weapons. Till was definitely struggling with that range in the early going as he was largely inactive on the feet outside of chasing Thompson around the cage.
Till was constantly cocking that big left hand, waiting for the opening to unleash his best shot but nothing much landed for him throughout the majority of the fight.
While Till was constantly stalking Thompson around the cage, it was the No. 1 ranked welterweight contender who was consistently landing the better and more accurate punches.
The third round saw Thompson land arguably his best shots all fight as he connected on a stiff straight right hand as Till came rushing forward. Thompson then landed another stinging left hand with Till backing up after that same exchange.
Of course, Thompson wasn't exactly an offensive juggernaut, but he definitely seemed to be landing with better accuracy while the Liverpool crowd was rising and falling with every shot that Till managed to throw.
It wasn't until the fifth round when Till finally hurt Thompson with a hard punch that dropped the South Carolina native to the mat. Till quickly looked to capitalize with punches and then a brief attempt at a guillotine choke but Thompson resisted and worked his way back to the feet.
The Liverpool crowd was certainly in a frenzy throughout but the remainder of the round went largely like the other four with a lack of offense from either fighter.
When it was over, Thompson and Till combined for only 68 significant strikes thrown between the two of them.
When the final decision was read, the judges scored the fight 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 all in favor of Till, who picks up the win despite an outcry of robbery from many who believed Thompson should have earned the nod.
It was a strange week for Till, who finally got the chance to fight at home but then came into the fight over weight by three and a half pounds. He then earned a controversial victory in the main event in a largely lackluster affair.
Still, Till picks up the most significant win of his career as he beats Thompson on his home soil while undoubtedly taking a big step forward in the title contender's race at welterweight.